Wednesday, May 22, 2024
cat photographsdaily photofrom the archives

Vintage Photos: Looking Out the Basement Door, 1997 and 2002

Sophie and Cookie look at me out the basement door, in 1997.
Sophie and Cookie look at me out the basement door, in 1997.

Cookie and Sophie sit side by side at the basement door, these two BFFs and my guardian kitties. No doubt Cookie was unhappy at not being outside with me but I was likely doing something like cutting the grass and she was much better off inside. Sophie didn’t mind either way, and only came outdoors now and then.

The two would often sit here, together, in the summer when I had the interior door open. They are watching me in this photo from 1997, but they also enjoyed watching all that happened in our little garden and out into the yard from the ground level of this door. They did this so often that when I replaced the concrete step at this basement door, I wrote their names in the concrete—more on that below. I treasure this photo, and until I began reviewing my boxes of photos last year I didn’t even realize I had it.

More memories than I can share are wrapped up in this photo and the ones with it on the same roll of film from 1997-1998, but I will add that this was my first summer in the garden without Kublai as he had died the previous September 1996; Kelly and Namir joined me in October 1997 and later in this roll of prints are the photos of the first time Kelly and Namir came down the stairs to join us, in spring 1998. Still later are photos of Moses rolling around on my bed, finally looking confident and playful at about age 10. Apparently, losing Kublai and Allegro, I wasn’t taking as many photos, which I think was correct, but I did capture the essentials.

Below is another photo I’d found, of the two side by side in summer 2002, in their appointed positions.

In 2002, Cookie and Sophie sit side by side and look out the door.
In 2002, Cookie and Sophie sit side by side and look out the door.

Another familiar sight, side by side on the concrete step I mentioned above, and a new door, a solid oak screen door I’d salvaged from an old home that I could cut down to fit this odd-sized opening. It’s the door you see today.

And another view of this couple, of Cookie turned to look at me, as she always did, to periodically check on me—and perhaps also Namir, by that time fully integrated into the household, who might sneak silently over on his long legs and pull her tail as he appears in the lower right of the photo.

Cookie turns to look at me.
Cookie turns to look at me.

And finally, here is the concrete step, with the two names, in the positions where they always sat, Sophie on the left, Cookie on the right. The concrete hardened faster than I anticipated and I barely had time to scratch their names into the surface with a nail, so they are hard to see, but I look at them every time I walk down the basement steps and pass this door.

Sophie's and Cookie's names kind of carved in concrete.
Sophie’s and Cookie’s names kind of carved in concrete.

I’m accustomed to being supervised by attentive and often critical felines, including inside and outside the house which, of course, includes anywhere in the yard. I love these memories, and I hope you have memories like these too. Don’t forget to take photos of them at the windows, watching you and greeting you as you come home. Someday you’ll cherish them too.

. . . . . . .

Photos pulled “From the Archives” were taken by one or another digital camera of mine between 2002 and, well, yesterday, but usually they are older than that, and I had never had the chance to feature them. Vintage Photos are from my film archives back to 1983 when I purchased my Pentax K-1000 camera. They’re a fun way to “introduce” other members of my feline family who came and went before I began blogging, and to illustrate my feline family in general from days gone by.

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Feline Photos from Portraits of Animals!

Tortoiseshell Camouflage
Tortoiseshell Camouflage

Tortoishell cats can be camouflaged against many backgrounds with all their irregular speckles and dots. This photo of Cookie taken in the spring of 2010 truly shows her ability to blend into her background as her orange and tan blend with last year’s leaves and her green eyes blend with the spring’s new growth. I could not love her more. Read more, and purchase.


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2 thoughts on “Vintage Photos: Looking Out the Basement Door, 1997 and 2002

  • This struck me as a particularly poignant post. It made me teary. But, in an important and nostalgic way. Hugs.

    • It strikes me that way too, Annie. I don’t hold onto “the good old days” because you miss today, but I remember golden moments like that and how lucky I felt to live with such wonderful cats in this life.


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